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Family Law Solicitor Caroline Harvey on the gay marriage bill

The Conservative party is set for fresh turmoil and problems after the Prime Minister has been accused by over 20 constituency chairmen who have sent a letter warning David Cameron that his support for the bill constitutes a ‘betrayal’.

The Milton Keynes leading politicians are split over today’s vote to allow gay marriage in England.

The city’s leading politicians are MP’s Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart, and will take opposite sides in the debate with Mr Stewart voting in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Mr Lancaster is set to oppose the Bill, which he says ‘may inadvertently be removing from religious freedom’.

Undoubtedly the bill has split the Conservative party, with political experts suggesting that more MP’s will vote against the bill than for it.

Under the new legislation, same sex couples would be able to get married in both Civil and religious ceremonies. It goes without saying the situation has also caused difficulties amongst religious communities.

Mr Lancaster does not feel able to support the bill as there are elements of it that he strongly supports such as strengthening the bond to support people who wish to take such a responsible step to formalise their relationship, look after each other in good times and in bad, but that no one should be forced to hold such ceremonies on their premises if it’s against their beliefs. He feels there should be legal protections that could be put in place to prevent this happening, such as countries like Canada and Spain where such protection exists.

Mr Cameron has said he wants his MP’s to vote according to conscience. It is expected a significant number of MP’s will abstain. Others have gone so far as to say this could hamper the Prime Minister at getting re-elected in 2015. MP’s also appear – with reason it would seem – to have concern that the matter will set MP’s against MP’s and will take up a lot of parliamentary time.

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